Friday, July 24, 2009

The Book of a Thousand Days

The Book of a Thousand Days
By Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780747597810
308 pages

Synopsis from the back cover:
When a beautiful Lady refuses to marry the Lord her father has chosen, her father is furious. So furious he locks her in a tower with her maid.

But the maid realises there is something deeply sinister behind her Lady's fear of the Lord, something which means they could be in more danger beyond the walls of the tower than imprisoned within them...

First sentence: Day 1. My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.

Fiction Genre: Young adult. Fairy tale retelling. Fantasy. Romance.

What led you to pick up this book? I was browsing at Borders, Tropicana City Mall, when I chanced upon this book. I already have three of Shannon Hale's books (The Goose Girl, Enna Burning and River Secret) but adding one more to the collection would not hurt... Plus, the storyline interests me. I adore fairy tale retellings, and this one is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale Maid Maleen with a Mongolian setting.

Summarize the plot minus spoilers: Please see the synopsis above.

What did you like most about the book? Here's quoting from the author's website: It is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise. The book format is similar to journalling where Dashti the maid writes her thoughts regularly; hence, the book title. The jottings stop at exactly Day 1,000. If computers are available then, I think Dashti would probably be blogging. She is a special maid because she can read and write, unlike her mistress Lady Saren of Titor's Garden. The book becomes very important toward the end of the story.

What did you think of the main character? Dashti the maid is a strong and loyal character. She has sworn never to leave her Lady Saren and that is precisely what she does even though the Lady's father has banished them to a seven-year imprisonment in a tower for her Lady's refusal to marry the man he has chosen. Dashti takes good care of her weak Lady and does everything she asks her to do even if it means disguising as her Lady when Khan Tegus from the land called Song for Evela comes to seek her at the tower. They could not see each other face to face.

Dashti knows the healing songs and she speaks well. She and Khan Tegus (who thinks that Dashti is Lady Saren) get on very well while her Lady watches and listens on. I really admire her courage to face anything that life throws at her. She is vital to their survival.

What about the ending? I love the ending. It is well done and I love the twist. Clever plotting is all I have to say. It is a fast read and a page turner.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

Should anyone NOT be encouraged to read it? Why? None that I can think of.

Would you read more books by this author? Yes, most definitely. I have The Goose Girl, Enna Burning and River Secret in my to-be-read (TBR) pile.

Would you re-read the book? Probably.